I’m also secondarily infertile. Again…catch your breath. Breathe...breathe....
OK…ready?? Moving on…
So…….this isn’t always an easy mix. Because of Roe vs. Wade’s anniversary, January is the busiest month of the year for pro-life activists. For an infertile pro-life activist it can also be the toughest.
My job, as the president of the board of my state pro-life organization, is to “educate citizens on life issues.” More specifically, we staff exhibit tables, speak to groups, hold prayer vigils, etc. Pretty much anything that educates. Ironic, right? :)
And I'm sure it goes without saying why that makes my infertile situation so difficult.
Disclaimer: I don’t write this post because I feel sorry for myself (well, haha, sometimes quite frankly I do!), or because I want you to feel sorry for me, or to make myself sound like some sort of hero. I assure you I’m NOT. I do this because I believe it's my vocation. And clearly I don’t do my work in the most graceful, penitential manner. I believe the pro-life issue is the most important one the Catholic Church stands for, because without life, then none of the other issues even exist. I’m just using this forum to speak honestly about my trials. I know my infertility is my cross and I must bear it with humility. I just haven’t achieved that humility thing quite yet.
Anyway, let me give you a couple of examples:
1. I spoke to a Baptist church’s youth group awhile back. The youth pastor had asked us to speak because he was concerned about some of his members’ pro-“choice” views. During the presentation, we showed the group what a 10-week post-conception baby looked like. One of the girls, probably no older than 15, gasped slightly and admitted without remorse, “Wow, mine was 15 weeks. I had to go to New Jersey for my abortion.” Ugh. *SUCKER PUNCH*Let me be clear – it’s not like I expected anything different when I entered pro-life leadership! I was basically a pro-life activist in the womb, thanks to my parents, so I knew all of the excuses, justifications, and arguments already. I knew what I was getting into. But I wasn’t (or didn’t know I was) infertile when I started really getting into the movement at this stage of my life. So especially at first it was difficult to come to terms with.
2. Prayer vigils. Standing outside an abortion clinic and watching desperate women enter, feeling they have no other option besides abortion is probably the most painful of my duties. I want to stop every one of them and say – “You DO have another option!! And I’m standing right here!” Unfortunately very few women actually stop to talk to sidewalk counselors, because they’ve already made their decision. Standing there praying that women change their minds about killing their unborn children is almost too much to bear. But I do it. Because they need the prayers. And God knows I need the penance!
We’re in a small, very liberal state where the pro-life community is subsequently rather small. My husband swears that we haven’t gotten pregnant because God needs my energy to be focused on this task, in this place, at this time. Which makes sense and I get that – no matter how hard we try, we seem to be stuck here! Not that I believe myself to be irreplaceable, but I just don’t think there’s anyone out there right now who has the time to put into what I do. I have a hard enough time trying to fill open commitee positions on my board! Although I hope that the next generation will provide a strong new leader in the next few years. But I’m trying to focus on the fact that this is where I’m needed right now.
So today officially starts my busy week. Tonight we’re screening the film Blood Money at the local indie theater, tomorrow I’m speaking to students in 7th & 8th grades to prepare them for their trip to D.C., Thursday I'm being interviewed on a local radio show by a less-than-sympathetic host, Friday is our local March for Life, and Monday I will head to D.C. for the national March for Life. The best (only?) way for me to get through it is to push my own problems to the back of my mind for a few days. (And alcohol. Oops...was that out loud?? :) ) And I will get through it. Probably not without some veiled tears, but I will.